Two brothers who attack and hack ‘Aiveni Tui to death with machete jailed

    Tautea ngāue pōpula 'a e ongo tautehina ne na tāmate'i 'a 'Aiveni Tui 'i Vainii'. Ta'u 10 'a e lahi' ko Halahone Taliai pea ta'u 'e ua māhina 'e tolu 'a Sōsefo Malimali Vea ko e si'i'.

    Two brothers who attacked another man with a machete and a hammer multiple time in a drunken brawl killing him later in hospital have been sent to jail.

    Halahone Taliai, 23,  has been jailed for 14 years but he would only serve 10 years before he will be released.

    His young brother Sosefo Malimali Vea, 21, had been sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment backdated to the date of his remand in custody.

    The victim ‘Aiveni Tui, 36, was left to bleed from two very serious wounds before being taken to hospital where he later died.

    The court heard Taliai struck Tui with a machete which inflicted “deep wounds to his left arm around the elbow area and a deep wound to the back of his right leg.”

    “These wounds caused death by extensive blood loss, renal failure of the kidney and low blood supply,” a pathologist told the court.

    She said the injuries to the arm were consistent with the arm being in a defensive position.

    Vea hit Tui with a hammer, shortly before he fell to the ground.

    Justice Cato said that according to the medical evidence there was a laceration which the pathologist considered could have been derived from the use of a hammer although an alternative of injury by falling to the ground and head hitting a rock was suggested to them by the defence.

    “I accept that there was evidence from which the Jury could find Mr Vea guilty of causing serious harm being the laceration or wound to the head.”

    The court was told the incident occurred in the morning of 22 October 2016 at the Vaini solar plant where a number of other young men, a woman and a security guard and the brothers drank for a lengthy period of time together with the victim without incident.

    Taliai and Vea left with some of the drinkers in their car to get more alcohol.

    They returned near the scene and Vea was sent to recover phones they left with Tui and others whilst the men waited in the car some distance from the solar plant area.

    Vea did not manage to retrieve the items and suggested to the others on his return that he had been involved in a fight with them which may not have been true.

    This appears to have motivated Taliai and some of the men in the car to return to retrieve the items, and, in case of a fight, Taliai took with him a machete and Vea took with him a hammer from the car.

    The judge said: “I am satisfied that [Taliai], when he returned was in an angry mood, and turned his anger on several of the group after he had requested the items, using his machete in an intimidating way towards some of those present.

    “After what seems to have been a short time according to [Taliai] in his record of interview, he confronted Tui who threw a bottle at him. He struck [him] with the flat side of his machete. Aiveni ran away and was chased by Malimali Vea and another around the area of the victim’s car.

    “He had fallen to the ground facing upwards where Taliai, in his record of interview, said he hit him with the sharp edge of the machete on his leg and arm.

    He said Tui apologised to him and he stopped. He admitted to be very angry when he hit Tui.

    “I accept the evidence that afterwards Taliai and [Vea] left the scene, without attending to the victim or inquiring about his health, and carried on drinking until the police came and arrested them later that day.

    “In my view, this was a violent and senseless attack with horrendous consequences.”

    In sentencing Taliai, Judge Cato set the starting point as 14 and half years after allowing a year for any provocation given on the part of the victim.

    Mr Cato said Taliai was a first offender and that he has expressed remorse for his actions including apologizing to the victim’s wife who had a young child and was left without support.

    Some restitution was also provided by the accused’s family.

    For these factors, I allow the accused 18 months imprisonment by way of mitigation. The sentence I impose after conviction for manslaughter is thirteen years imprisonment. This sentence is backdated to his remand in custody.

    “It is plain in my view that he had developed a serious problem with alcohol and marijuana consumption leading I have no doubt to his aggression in this offending. I suspend the final three years of his sentence on the following conditions;

    1. He is not to commit any offences punishable by imprisonment for the period of his suspension;
    2. He is placed on probation for the period of his suspension to live where directed by his probation officer;
    3. He is not to consume alcohol or drugs during the period of his suspension,
    4. He is to attend a course on violence (anger management) and in relation to alcohol and drug abuse under the direction of probation and the appropriate agency for these programs.

    He is warned that a failure to abide by any of these conditions may well mean that he is returned to prison to serve the balance of his term of imprisonment.

    In sentencing Vea, Mr Cato said his final six months imprisonment is suspended on the following conditions;

    1. He is not to commit any offences punishable by imprisonment for the period of his suspension;
    2. He is placed on probation to live where directed during the period of his suspension;
    3. He is not to drink alcohol or take drugs during the period of his suspension.
    4. He is to attend courses on violence and anger management, and alcohol and drug abuse during the period of his suspension under the direction of probation and appropriate agency.
    5. He also is advised that a failure to carry out the terms of his suspension may mean that he has to serve the balance of his sentence of imprisonment.

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